TROY, Ala. (WDHN) — Every May thousands of college students walk across the stage to receive the degree they worked years for.
However, this year.., many of those commencement ceremonies were either canceled or postponed until the summer due to COVID-19.
“Honestly, it was heartbreaking,” said Troy spring graduate, Mary Brunson. “It was like we’ve worked so hard for this and now we’re all so eager to get out into the work force and go and do what we can.”
For many students, their families were planning to visit the campus for graduation to see their students’ accomplishments be rewarded.
Instead, travel plans were canceled, and while some will have the option to see the graduate walk during the summer ceremony, not all will.
“I think they were kind of sad that they won’t get to see me walk,” said Aaron Dixon, another Troy spring graduate. “They put all that time and effort into me for these however many years to see me walk across the stage. They’ve seen it in high school, but then now they won’t get to see me walk the stage in college.”
One graduate’s father said that while they had to deal with the facts as they had them, the day is kind of surreal.
“There’s nothing,” said Matt Brunson, Mary’s father. “I mean there’s a Facebook post from Troy University that says this was your day and congratulations, but you do look for that finality for that event for something to go to. Her degree didn’t come in the mail today. I’m looking forward to July 24, which is when there will be a commencement, but she’s graduated now and we’re in the job search so we’re excited about that.”
Brunson says even though it’s an awful time to search for a job with all the measures being taken in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, he wants to encourage graduates to not be discouraged, keep your head up and just keep looking, because things will get better, and jobs will be out there.